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Delta Dental Research Review Confirms Association
between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Emerging science calls for more periodontal maintenance.

As part of its ongoing objective to stay on the cutting edge of emerging dental science and its role in dental plan designs, Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA) commissioned the University of Michigan School of Dentistry to conduct reviews of existing scientific research.

One study examined the emerging science showing associations between periodontal disease (gum disease) and diabetes. The end result was a comprehensive report citing strong evidence that diabetes can adversely affect periodontal disease. People with diabetes get periodontal disease more easily, and their periodontal disease gets worse faster than it does in non-diabetics. The study also reported emerging science indicating that periodontal disease may also be one of the reasons people get Type 2 or gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes.

Key takeaways from this research review:

  • Diabetes can adversely affect periodontal disease. People with diabetes get periodontal disease more easily, and their periodontal disease gets worse faster than it does in non-diabetics. Emerging science indicates that gum disease may also be one of the reasons people get Type 2 or gestational diabetes.
  • It is important to treat periodontal disease to have a healthy mouth. It is also helpful for people with diabetes to lower the amount of sugar in their blood over the long term. Keeping blood sugar lower means they control their diseases better. If the gums are healthy, some people might not get diabetes at all, or not get it as soon. A healthy mouth could even help people with diabetes to avoid the very serious health problems that often come with diabetes.
  • Many people with periodontal disease or diabetes are not aware that they have the conditions, meaning that regular dental checkups are extremely important for the identification and treatment of periodontal disease.
  • Delta Dental recognizes that the evidence underscores the importance of managing periodontal diseases in diabetic patients, and therefore strongly advocates the availability of periodontal services for people affected by this chronic disease.